Regional College Access Center

Table of Contents

AZ state government financial aid programs

Nonprofit and other AZ financial aid programs

Other Arizona financial aid

AZ state government financial aid programs

Arizona Board of Regent's High Honors Tuition Scholarship (AIMS)

Read about the AIMS scholarship on the Arizona Department of Education website.

Description: The AIMS scholarship pays for 25% of in-state university base tuition for qualifying high school students who attend the University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University or Arizona State University. The program used to fully cover tuition, but 2012 is the last year this will be true. AIMS is a merit-based scholarship with very rigorous academic requirements.

Eligibility: In order to be eligible for an AIMS scholarship, you must:

  1. Be an Arizona resident with lawful immigration status (U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen).
  2. Earn a "B" or better in specific types of courses [PDF]. You can also meet this requirement with high scores [PDF] on Advanced Placement tests or International Baccalaureate tests in these subjects. The courses include English, math, science, social science, foreign language and fine arts.
  3. Either be in the top 5% of your graduating class, or else have an unweighted GPA of at least 3.5 (out of 4.0) in these core classes.
  4. Exceed standards in all three parts of the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) exam—reading, writing and math—by the end of your junior year in high school. If you exceed standards in just two of these areas and meet standards in the third, you can still qualify. You will need to earn a "3" on two Advanced Placement tests, or a "4" on two International Baccalaureate tests. You take those tests during your senior year of high school.
  5. Either earn at least a 28 on the ACT or a combined 1300 on the critical reading and mathematics portions of the SAT test (excluding the essay test).

This scholarship demands significant academic effort and ability, but the reward is also large. University base tuition for the 2011-2012 school year was more than $9,000. A quarter of that is about $2,300. Not too shabby.

Award Value: 25% of university base tuition.

Award Type: Merit-based.

Application Process: "Don't call us, we'll call you." The Arizona Department of Education identifies qualifying students and contacts them during their senior year of high school. There isn't any process to apply, in other words.

Arizona Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (AzLEAP)

View the AzLEAP grant on the AZgrants.gov website.

Description: The AzLEAP grant provides need-based awards up to $2,500 per academic year to students who meet the eligibility criteria. The average amount awarded is closer to $1,000.

Eligibility: In order to be eligible for an AzLEAP grant, you must:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen (or eligible non-citizen) residing in Arizona.
  2. Be enrolled at least half-time as an undergraduate in a participating institution.
  3. Be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant based on your FAFSA. This demonstrates "substantial financial need."
  4. Stay in good academic standing.

Award Value: Up to $2,500 per academic year.

Award Type: Financial need-based.

Application Due Date: Not specified. You must complete your FAFSA to apply, which is generally due on June 30.

Application Process: You can apply online at AZgrants.gov. Click the "Students Apply Here" button on the right-hand sidebar.

Special Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (SLEAP)

View the SLEAP grant on the AZgrants.gov website.

Description: The SLEAP grant provides need-based awards up to $2,000 to students studying science, technology, engineering, mathematics or education. You can reapply for the award each year, but they do not renew automatically.

Eligibility: In order to be eligible for a SLEAP grant, you must:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen (or eligible non-citizen) residing in Arizona for at least a year prior to applying.
  2. Be enrolled at least half-time as a sophomore, junior or senior in an accredited Arizona postsecondary institution, where you are seeking an Associate's or Bachelor's degree.
  3. Demonstrate "substantial financial need" on your FAFSA. Although the grant language does not specify, this phrase usually means that you must be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant.
  4. Stay in good academic standing.

Number of Awards: Varies. The grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, and funds are limited.

Award Value: Up to $2,000.

Award Type: Financial need-based.

Application Due Date: Not specified. You must complete your FAFSA to apply, which is generally due on June 30. Since the number of awards is limited by available funds, you'll want to apply much earlier than that.

Application Process: You can apply online at AZgrants.gov. Click the "Students Apply Here" button on the right-hand sidebar.

Education and Training Voucher (ETV) for foster youth

Read more about the ETV program on the Arizona Department of Economic Security website or the federal ETV program website.

Description: The ETV program provides up to $5,000 per year to current and former foster youth in the state of Arizona who are pursuing a postsecondary education.

Eligibility: In order to be eligible for an Education and Training Voucher, you must:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen or qualified non-citizen.
  2. Have been in foster care in Arizona at the age of 16 or 17.
  3. Be enrolled in a postsecondary institution recognized by the Arizona Department of Education.
  4. Be under the age of 21 (although recipients in good standing can continue to receive aid until they are 23).
  5. Have personal assets worth less than $10,000 in total.

Number of Awards: Varies. Vouchers are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, and funds are limited.

Award Value: Up to $5,000 per year.

Award Type: Financial need-based.

Application Due Date: Not specified. You must complete your FAFSA to apply, which is generally due on June 30. You cannot apply for the upcoming school year any earlier than July 1 of that year.

Application Process: You can apply online at the federal ETV website. There are two parts to the application (not including the FAFSA): an online application, and a PDF that you must print, fill out and give to your institution's financial aid office.

Troops to Teachers (TTT)

Read more about the TTT program on the Arizona Department of Veterans' Services website, or on the U.S. military's Defence Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) website.

Description: As the name suggests, TTT is intended to help military personnel transition to a career as public school teachers. TTT is primarily a counseling and referral service, but there is also funding available. The TTT program offers stipends of up to $5,000 to eligible people pursuing teacher certification, or bonuses of up to $10,000 for teachers willing to commit to schools in low-income areas.

Eligibility: In order to be eligible for TTT funding, you must meet the military service requirements and education requirements described here.

Number of Awards: Varies. Funding is allocated on an annual basis.

Award Value: Up to $10,000.

Award Type: Student-specific (career background).

Application Due Date: Not specified.

Application Process: You can apply online at the federal TTT website.

Currently suspended Arizona-specific grants

Unfortunately, student financial aid has been one of the areas most affected by financial problems at the state level here in Arizona. According to the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education, student aid funding has been cut by 70% since 2009. As a result, several grants that used to be available to Arizona students are currently suspended. Hopefully, they will return for the 2012-2013 school year. In the meantime, you can find more information about these grant programs below.

Early Graduation Scholarship Grant (EGSG) Program

Read about the suspended EGSG program on the AZgrants.gov website.

Description: The EGSG program provided grants up to $2,000 to Arizona high school students who chose to graduate early and attend an in-state institution of higher education.

Postsecondary Education Grant (PEG) Program

Read about the suspended PEG program on the AZgrants.gov website.

Description: The PEG program provided grants up to $2,000 to Arizona residents (or military service members stationed in Arizona) pursuing Bachelor's degrees at Arizona institutions of higher education. These grants were set up as "forgivable" loans, meaning that they did not need to be repaid as long as a recipient met the requirements. The primary requirement was graduating with a Bachelor's degree within five years.

AZ Private Postsecondary Education Student Assistance Program (PFAP)

Read about the suspended PFAP grant on the AZgrants.gov website.

Description: The PFAP grant provided awards up to $2,000 per year to Arizona residents who had already earned a degree from a community college, and went on to pursue a Bachelor's degree at an Arizona postsecondary institution. Like the PEG grant above, PFAP grants were forgivable loans. The primary requirement was completion of a Bachelor's degree within three years.

Nonprofit and other AZ financial aid programs

Dorrance Scholarship for first-generation college students

Read about the scholarship at the Dorrance Scholarship Program website.

Description: Dorrance Scholarships are awarded based on financial need to Arizona high school students pursuing an undergraduate degree at public Arizona university. The program awards up to $10,000 annually, and only first-generation college students are eligible.

Eligibility: In order to apply for a Dorrance Scholarship, you must:

  1. Be a high school senior graduating from an accredited Arizona high school.
  2. Be from a family in which neither of your parents holds a four-year postsecondary degree.
  3. Have a GPA of at least 3.0.
  4. Score at least 22 on the ACT or 1040 on the SAT, excluding the writing portions of the tests.
  5. Be admitted to the University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, or Arizona State University.
  6. Demonstrate financial need on the FAFSA.

The program is also looking for students who show leadership and a dedication to community service. There are some additional requirements to keep the scholarship, which is renewable on an annual basis for four years. These include living on campus as a freshman, participating in a summer program, attending Dorrance program events, and maintaining a 3.0 GPA while taking at least 12 credits per semester.

Number of Awards: Varies based on available funding.

Award Value: Up to $10,000 per academic year.

Award Type: Financial need-based, merit-based, and student-specific (first-generation college students).

Application Due Date: February for the application, and March for the letters of recommendation. Finalists for the scholarship are interviewed in April. Check the Dorrance website for exact dates.

Application Process: Apply online at the Dorrance Scholarship Program website.

Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation (AFFCF) scholarships

Read about the scholarship on the AFFCF website.

Description: The AFFCF offers scholarships of up to $2,500 per semester to current or former foster youth attending a university (up to $1,000 per semester for a community college or vocational/trade school).

Eligibility: In order to be eligible for the scholarship, you must:

  1. Have been a ward of the state of Arizona when you turned 18.
  2. Be under the age of 24.
  3. Be pursuing a degree from a community college, university or vocational/trade school.

Applicants who spent more than two years in foster care are given "greater consideration."

Number of Awards: Varies. Scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, and funds are limited.

Award Value: Up to $5,000 per academic year ($2,500 per semester).

Award Type: Financial need-based.

Application Due Date: January for spring semester applicants, and August for fall semester applicants. Deadlines differ for new vs. continuing applicants. Check the AFFCF deadlines page for exact dates.

Application Process: You can download a PDF application from the AFFCF website. The link to the document on the scholarship Q&A page is broken, so make sure you look for "Scholarship Application" in the dropdown menu on the left. Or just use our link.